Nashville, Tennessee – The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) held its summer board meeting virtually on August 18, 2022 and approved a resolution designating funds from a recent property sale, among other action items.
GCFA recently sold its headquarters at 1 Music Circle N. in Nashville and has moved into 1908 Grand Avenue, sharing space next to the Discipleship Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and Africa University Development Office, among others. GCFA received $12.7 million in proceeds from the sale, and the board approved designations for the proceeds, including missional investment in the form of innovative training events and retreats for church leaders, future long-term capital expenditures, and operational expenses.
The first innovative training event, called ‘Refresh. Renew. Recenter,’ is a clergy wellness retreat also funded in part through a Lilly Foundation grant in conjunction with Wespath. These events are focused on the five pillars of well-being, including physical, spiritual, mental, social, and financial wellness, and GCFA anticipates planning more of these in partnership with annual conferences and other agencies.
“We bring a spirit of thankfulness for our local pastors who are doing the front lines work of making disciples,” said Rev. Moses Kumar, GCFA’s General Secretary and Treasurer said. “We look forward to seeing the fruit of this and other innovative events to refresh and restore our valued clergy.”
Based on financial and economic data available, the Board voted to increase Episcopal salaries and office grants in the Jurisdictional and Central Conferences by 4% in 2023 and voted to maintain the current level of housing grant for 2023. In addition, the Board received an update regarding GCFA’s annual conference survey, which had a response rate of more than 90%. The survey results estimate an anticipated reduction in local church expenditures due to church disaffiliation or closure. A 21.3% net expenditure reduction was forecasted through 2025. Similarly, the Economic Advisory Committee projected a decline in the apportionment base by 24% through the next quadrennium from 2022 levels.
“The GCFA Board thanks the Economic Advisory Committee and annual conference leadership for their invaluable input in helping forecast our denominational finances,” GCFA Board President Bishop Michael McKee said. “We are grateful for United Methodist faithful who continue to give generously to United Methodist churches and the connection.”